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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
School

Lafayette School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Mark Kindhouse

Mark Kindhouse

Engineer/Educator/Businessman
8,882 votes (40.49%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Provide quality governance and oversight for the $70 million bond measure to maintain voter trust
  • Examine current budget and work with existing board members and district to find ways to improve fiscal condition
  • Continue to attract and maintain the best and brightest teaching talent for our district

Experience

Experience

Profession:Engineer/Educator/Businessman
Operations Management Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers (2013–current)
Member, City of Lafayette Capital Projects Assessment Committee — Appointed position (2014–current)
Member, American Society of Civil Engineers Government Relations Committee — Appointed position (2015–current)

Education

University of North Dakota BS, Civil Engineering (not availa)
University of Southern California MS, Construction Engineering & Management (not availa)

Community Activities

Assistant Leader Pack 643, Boy Scouts of America (2016–current)
Volunteer, Lafayette School District "Measure C" Bond Campaign (2016–2016)

Biography

I am a proud father, an educator, and a civil engineer with a penchant for problem solving.

I grew up the eldest child in my family just south of Chicago.  My father was an engineer and my mother a bus driver.  With their guidance, I made my way through school and earned my first undergraduate degree in psychology.  That education gave me the tools I needed to pursue a career in social work.  Though working with underprivileged adults and children proved extremely rewarding, my thirst for knowledge led me back to school, and I earned a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from UND and a Master of Construction Engineering and Management from the University of Southern California.

I first cut my teeth as a builder while working at a small architecture firm.  Before long, I transitioned to one of the premier firms on the West Coast, where I learned how to build large-scale, ground-up construction projects.  In addition to my time in the field, I also worked on a massive portfolio for the Walt Disney Company and touched over $1.9 billion in capital projects while teaching advanced courses at UCLA.  

Currently, I serve as Capital Projects Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Francisco.  In addition to leading problem-solving teams for some of the country’s largest organizations, I volunteer my time with the American Society of Civil Engineers to ensure that our infrastructure is protected and best served by the government we elect.

I am also honored to serve on the City of Lafayette’s Capital Projects Assessment Committee, where I oversee improvements to local roads, waterways, and long-term capital projects.  My favorite way to serve the community, however, is as a Cub Scout Leader for Pack 643 of the Boy Scouts of America, Mt. Diablo Silverado Council.

My wife Jennifer and I are happy to call Lafayette home, and our two boys are gaining invaluable knowledge and skills at Burton Valley Elementary.  We are members of the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church and keep active in Lafayette Partners in Education (LPIE), the Lafayette School Bond campaign, and other local initiatives to improve our schools.  My family and I look forward to watching Lafayette thrive and will continue to be involved citizens.

Who supports this candidate?

Elected Officials (5)

  • Incoming Acalanes Board Member Craig Cheslog
  • Former Acalanes Board Member Tom Mulvaney
  • Council Member Mike Anderson
  • Former Lafayette Board Member Roger Falcone
  • Former Moraga School Board Member Steve Hirsch

Individuals (3)

  • Former Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation Executive Director Kathy Merchant
  • Lafayette Citizen of the Year Marechal Duncan
  • Lafayette Citizen of the Year Karen Mulvaney

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (1)

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools. What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?
Answer from Mark Kindhouse:

Due to the changes in the funding formula at the state level, we now have a local duty to own and create accountability.  The main goals of creating equitability, local control, and broader achievement metrics are noble.  While the processes and results are in the nascent stages, it is critical to understand how we can provide the best possible LCAP with greatest community involvement, while reducing the operational expense of producing the paperwork.  

I would like to continue our district program of reaching out to parents to engage in the LCAP process.  Additionally, I would like to see sitting board members regularly attend the PTA/PTO meetings and extend a hand to new parents to explain the LCFF and its intent.  By continuining to message that the control is local, we can improve turnout and input from parents.  This can only enrich our LCAP process.

Lastly, there are districts in Contra Costa County that have produced dashboard summaries and found ways to economically and properly produce a clear set of metrics to the State of California.  We should benchmark those districts to leverage future state models.  Why be redundant?  Let's find ways to collaborate and improve.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

  • Lafayette School Bond and Good Governance - I have spent my career serving clients and boards to make sure that large scale capital projects remain on time and on budget.  Managing Lafayette's $70 million bond measure is going to be a critical task involving not only difficult trade-offs, but risk mitigation and management.  
  • Suporting Teachers and Staff - We entrust school faculty to take care of our children - often times for more hours of the day than we care for them ourselves.  The relationship between teachers, parents, and children must be held sacred and continuously improved.
  • Special Education - I will work with the superintendent and other board members to help the newly appointed director continue the plan he has laid out.  I will use my background where possible to help support the district's pursuit of qualified staff who can provide impeccable service to students who need it the most.
  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) - As a community, we must focus on developing a compelling STEM curriculum for TK-8 students in order to prepare them for the challenges of high school, college, and the workforce.   
  • Environment, Health, Safety - It is critical during facilities upgrades that we use a modern, thorough, and transparent process to achieve the best environmental, health, and safety standards for our schools. 

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